Footloose Walking Club

Minutes of 7th A.G.M. held at the Carus Green Golf Club 4th December 2016. 

Present: 45 Members plus 1 Guest.

  1. Welcome: The Chairman welcomed all to the A.G.M., briefly explaining why this was only 7th Footloose A.G.M. and yet the club was now in its 18th year. He also remarked upon the rather better weather than we experienced last year; this being the anniversary of Storm Desmond.
  2. Apologies: apologies had been received from Stan Aspinal.
  3. 2015 Minutes: approval of the minutes was proposed by John Lee and seconded by David Armstrong and was passed unanimously.
  4. Matters Arising: there were two matters arising, firstly the club's founder, Linda Marshal has  reconsidered her perhaps hasty decision to sever contact with the club and asked if she could rejoin, which has of course been agreed, and secondly despite a plea for better support at Walks Planning Meetings, this has not been forthcoming.
  5. Chairman's Report: the Chairman said that he felt 2016 had been an excellent year, possibly the best ever. Membership had continued to grow with new colleagues enthusiastically joining walks, involving themselves in socials and, of course, attending club holidays. Speaking of holidays, there had been four in 2016. Firstly the 'London Weekend' in March based on Olympic Park, superbly organised and managed by Paul Lawrence (not able to attend A.G.M. as he has just returned from New Zealand), secondly the Greek Week in April, again great walking, food, drink, accommodation, wonderful wildlife and aromatic flowers, a feature of walking we lack in Lake District thanks to intensive sheep grazing. All in all a holiday so much appreciated that it is being re run this coming April, thirdly Norman's Dolomite adventure , with all the superlatives once again being spoken of it and the highlights on laptop display at the meeting and finally Whitby at the end of September organised by Sue Brearley with the help of Heather Park, once again a fantastic event , with great well led walks in beautiful countryside and housed/fed in  impressive accommodation (Sneaton Castle) and supported by more than 30 members. Sandwiched in between these holidays was the Summer Social, attended by 32 members and effectively divided into three elements, an 'open house and garden', courtesy of Simon and Christine, a private tour and explanation of The Sir John Barrow Monument (aka The Hoad!) led by Barry Brooks and finally a meal at The Farmers Ulverston. Also very worthy of mention was the walk on September18th, led by John Lee but supported by a large group of helpers from the club whereby partially sighted visitors from London enjoyed a walking experience from Coniston to Tarn Howes and a drink in the Sun afterwards. The Chairman felt that the club should be very proud of all the members who took part, he also praised his fellow Committee members feeling they had done a wonderful job in 2016.  
  6. Treasurers Report and Membership: Membership currently stands at 79 'normal' and 2 'life' (Simon Hughes and Selwyn Collinge). Clearly Accounts for 2016 are still open but the Treasurer, who issued the statement as it stood on 4th, felt that we would close 2016 with a positive balance of ~£200 once the Carus Green had been paid and the £150 cheque donated to Bay Search and Rescue, was cleared. The opening balance had been £247.23. These interim accounts were proposed by Tony Mayo and seconded by Victor Middleton. Norman did point out that the club had not joined Y.H.A. but should any member wish to organise a holiday and benefit from group rates, then he would quite happily do so. Norman also requested that when writing cheques to Footloose, members should make them out for the exact amount; rounding up makes accounting that little bit more difficult!
  7. Website and Incident Log: John had no significant website or Incident Log issues to highlight.
  8. Committee Elections: Heather has decided to step down this year and the Chairman thanked her for all her hard work and enthusiasm over the last 7 years, firstly as walks coordinator and then more recently as a wonderful manager of holidays and social events. The other member whose time in office has elapsed is John Lee. Luckily he was happy to re-stand, proposed by Libby Simpson and seconded by Kate Rowland-Smith, he was unanimously re-elected. Deborah Middleton and Sarah Walker both volunteered to join the Committee, were proposed by Heather Park, seconded by Derwent Donaldson and unanimously elected.
  9. Contact Detail Publication: this is a topic which has cropped up several times on recent walks with members sometimes finding it hard to contact others for things like lift sharing. In the early days of the club a list of all fellow members with even their interests, was automatically issued but given the strictures of the Data Protection Act, Membership Lists have for many years only been circulated amongst the Committee. However there seems to be some appetite for relaxing this ruling. Members were therefore given three options to vote on - remain as were  are with solely the ability to contact others through a 'reply to all' email derived from a club wide email, have a published list of email addresses only or finally have a complete listing of contact details. There was limited support for the first two options (5 and 7 votes respectively) with the vast majority opting for full disclosure. However John Davies suggested that those who objected strongly should have the option of opting out, which would be achieved by emailing the Membership Secretary, Norman French.
  10. Emergency Contact Numbers: the Chairman said that a number of fellow walking groups were requesting that their members carried an emergency contact number in a prominent position in, or on, their rucksack. This seems an eminently simple and good idea. Footloose has been very lucky in never having had  a major trauma on a walk but it is idle to think it could never happen; witness the well equipped and experienced walkers who come to grief every year in the area. The meeting agreed so therefore we will publish this request and add it to the 'Responsibilities of Members' leaflet which is posted on the website.
  11. Future Club Events: the Chairman 'lamented' the fact that there is no early 2017 holiday planned as last year or indeed the January weeks some members used to participate in. The first event will therefore be the Greek Holiday, or rather Holidays. There will be two, the first being like last year, a week in duration, at the beginning of April with currently 8 are places out of the 16 available booked, and the second this time of 10 day duration, after Easter with 14 places booked. John Lee is facilitating these holidays. The club has also placed a deposit on Alnwick Youth Hostel for the last weekend in September. This involves sharing the hostel with a German choir who have already snapped up all the smaller rooms therefore a degree of room sharing will be inevitable. A very limited number of doubles could be accommodated, but the Chairman suggested those occupying these rooms should perhaps pay a premium over those in more multi bedded rooms. Norman will probably also run another of his more 'leg stretching' continental holidays but has yet to decide where. Many suggestions came from the Floor! Lastly there will of course be a Summer Social, presumably in the Kendal Area this year. No where has yet been selected though No17 Milnthorpe seems a popular candidate.
  12. 2017 A.G.M: to be held on Sunday December 3rd.
  13. A.O.B: John Lee raised the subject of walks splitting where despite the presence of a 'back marker', a split occurs. Clearly in open country this is not an issue, it occurs particularly in wooded areas and especially where there is a junction or choice of routes where those who have become detached, have a dilemma.  There was considerable debate: all recognised the need to keep the group as one unit and the responsibilities of all the walkers, not just the leader in this. We will again make changes to the 'Responsibilities of Members Leaflet' but what precisely the wording might be needs a little more thought.

The Meeting closed at 16.45.

Tony Mayo Chairman 5th December 2016